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Along came the Swiss Ball and Bosu.....

and the fitness world will never be the same. 


Swiss ball training has gained popularity of epic proportions in recent years.  When performing exercises on unstable surfaces the muscles of the abdominals and lower back are forced too stabilize and help balance the body.  This in turn will improve trunk stability, posture, and balance.

Experimenters at Springfield College investigated the effects of core stability and balance exercises vs. conventional flat surface (floor) exercises in untrained women.  Thirty female students were randomly assigned either Swiss ball training (n=15) that consisted of back extensions and sit-ups or performing floor training (n=15) with the same exercises. The study was a 5 week program in which sessions lasted 15 minutes each. The 1st week consisted of 3 sets of 15 reps, followed by 2nd week 4 sets of 15 reps, followed by 3rd and 4th week of 4 sets of 25 reps.

EMG recordings of abdominals and lower back muscles were taken pre and post.  Unilateral stance balance test was performed by having the individual subject’s maintain balance while having both eyes closed and one knee flexed at 60 degrees.

Results: Mean positive changes were significantly higher for Swiss subjects based on EMG recordings of abdominals and lower back muscles compared to floor subjects (P=0.04)

The recorded balance time after training was significantly higher in Swiss ball subjects compared to floor subjects (P=0.00). The unstable trial led to greater gains in stability.(The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: Vol. 17 No, 4).

I admit, I was skeptical at first but that soon changed, after performing one set of dumbbell chest presses on a Swiss ball.  I felt muscles contracting in places, I didn’t even realize existed! I personally recommend the Bosu DSL Trainer (Swiss ball) made by Bosu. The same company also makes the Bosu (resembles a cut in ½ blue Swiss ball).

The Bosu has been a part of my daily exercise regime for years now. Simply put there are a plethora of movements you can perform on it. This is a bonus, for any body who is tired of the same mundane workout, day after day.

I still own my very first Bosu and DSL from 3 yrs ago. I put them through the ringer with non stop clients day and night. They’re worth their weight in gold!   

The most important aspect for me as a trainer and fitness enthusiast is the fun and versatility these gems bring to me and to my client’s workouts.  

Rating: 8 out of 10  

"It is the imagination that lights the slow fuse of the possible."
-Emily Dickinson

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Copyright 2007 Mountainfitness by Robert, all rights reserved. Always consult with your physician before starting any exercise program. The information contained on this website is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.